News & Analysis

  1. marcbenioff

    Marc Benioff eviscerates Indiana over anti-gay law… even though Salesforce contributes to anti-gay politicians

    Marc Benioff, CEO of the Silicon Valley cloud computing giant Salesforce, is on a crusade against the state of Indiana after its governor Mike Pence signed a “Religious Liberty” law that many opponents fear could be used to discriminate against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation. Since the passage of the law, Benioff has cancelled all required travel of Salesforce employees to the state of Indiana and has pledged to “dramatically reduce [Salesforce’s] investment in IN based…
  3. Tesla D

    Elon Musk created nearly $1B in value today with a single tweet

    So much for haters who like to dismiss the impact and growth of Twitter. Today the world – and particularly Wall Street – got a master class in the power of a few well placed words, when a single tweet by Tesla (and SpaceX) CEO Elon Musk cause the electric car maker’s stock to jump nearly 4 percent in just 10 minutes – adding a staggering $900 million to the company’s market cap in just 115 characters. What new…
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    The War Nerd: To lighten the mood, here’s the cheery tale of Dammaj

    One of the weirdest stories to come out of the war in Yemen is the Siege of Dammaj. In a small way, it was a microcosm of the Sunni/Shia world-wide conflict. But a goofy, almost endearing microcosm, with a lot of enthusiastic kids flocking to a little Yemeni town, comic blog posts, and only a few casualties. You could cast Selena Gomez and Pharrell in the movie. At the moment I’ll take all the cheery stories I can get out…
  5. uber

    Uber’s troublesome relationship with Project 5 Starr

    Uber offers drivers whose accounts have been deactivated a choice: attend a class that requires them to pass an exam, or take a class that doesn’t. The latter has been informed by Uber employees, and the company has sent thousands of drivers to it, according to a report from BuzzFeed. Why is that a problem? Because Uber isn’t supposed to provide its drivers with formal training; doing so makes them bona fide employees, not independent contractors. [Source: BuzzFeed]
  7. neighborhood

    The racists next door: Why Nextdoor’s racial profiling “problem” isn’t the company’s fault — it’s society’s

    Last week, on Fusion, neighborhood social network Nextdoor made the kind of headlines every startup founder dreads: “Nextdoor… is becoming a home for racial profiling.” Ouch. Questions swirled around the Pando office, like: How widespread is this behavior, and is the company doing everything it can to combat it? Is this just another salacious, clickbait headline, or is it more serious, like Nextdoor’s equivalent of MySpace’s pedophiles or Airbnb’s methheads moments? I spoke to Nextdoor, hoping to get…
  8. factory

    With a new experimental space in Boston, Autodesk wants to bring manufacturing back to cities

    Global computer design company Autodesk has unveiled today the location for the East Coast version of its Pier 9 facility, an experimental maker space geared towards the creative class. The new space, located in the Marine Industrial Park in the Drydock area of South Boston, will have a much different focus than its Bay Area predecessor, focusing specifically on construction design as well as innovation in fabrication processes and manufacturing materials. The company is hoping that the new downtown Boston…
  9. tatteredflag

    Federal agents charged with stealing from Silk Road during undercover investigation

    Silk Road was shut down because it facilitated the illegal sale of drugs, firearms, malware, and other black market wares found on the deep Web. Its shuttering was supposed to be a feather in the cap of a government struggling to keep pace with criminals’ increasing reliance on computers over street corners. But two federal agents thought it could serve another purpose: making them rich. The New York Times reports that the two agents — one from the Drug Enforcement…
  11. press-release

    Flipboard launches private magazines

    Flipboard users will now be able to collect articles and share them via private magazines visible only to members of certain groups. The feature is aimed at students working in the same class, companies sharing press coverage, and other groups that might want an easy way to share Web pages with each other without having to use public tools like Facebook or Twitter. [Source: Flipboard]
  12. strictly-business

    T-Mobile reveals user-generated coverage map

    T-Mobile has tasked its customers with creating a real-world coverage map that makes it easier to tell where its service works and where it doesn’t. Instead of guessing at where its customers will get service — which is what other carriers do, the company claims — it’s asking people to verify its predictions so it can be more honest with consumers. [Source: T-Mobile]
  14. giant_bezos_pd

    Already under scrutiny for worker relations, Amazon courts controversy with Home Services

    Amazon has joined Uber and Lyft in blurring the line between independent contractors and legitimate employees with Home Services, a platform for customers looking for handymen, cleaners, and other on-demand workers. The company is presenting itself as a middleman through which customers can find these workers. Everyone hired through the platform works for a contractor, runs their own business, or finds gigs through another service, like TaskRabbit. But Amazon isn’t only connecting workers and consumers. The company vets workers with…
  15. strictly-business

    Amazon bypasses FAA drone restrictions

    Amazon isn’t happy that the Federal Aviation Administration wants to restrict how, when, and where it tests the drones it hopes will deliver packages some time in the future. So it’s opened a secret test facility in British Columbia where it can operate without pesky regulators worrying about drones falling out of the sky and hurting bystanders. [Source: The Guardian]
  16. pando-breaking-news-small

    GitHub deflects DDoS attack

    GitHub has been the target of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack over the last few days, perhaps because the Chinese government wants to prevent anti-censorship tools hosted on the service from spreading. The company now says that it’s able to operate despite the attacks, albeit with intermittent outages. [Source: Reuters]
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    Reports: Two wounded after possible attack on NSA headquarters

    A FOX affiliate in Washington, DC reports that a man in an SUV attempted to ram a gate at the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Details are still coming in, but a source told Tim Pratt, a reporter for the Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland that one is dead and another is wounded following the incident, which may or may not have been a targeted attack. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reports that…
  19. snowdenfeature

    The NSA considered ending controversial call records program before Snowden leaks

    Supporters of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs have argued that the ability to collect information about potential threats is needed to protect the United States from attacks. But even the NSA has questioned those claims. According to the Associated Press, the NSA considered abandoning a program that allowed it to collect and store Americans’ call records before it was revealed to the public by contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden in June 2013. Anonymous “current and former intelligence officials” told…
  20. elsewhere

    Spotify heads to PlayStation

    Sony has given up on Music Unlimited, the streaming service it included with many of its products, and will now allow PlayStation owners to listen to music via Spotify. The two companies have formed an exclusive partnership that will prevent the music-streaming app from supporting the PlayStation’s competitors, the Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U, any time soon. [Source: The Verge]

The Week in Review